Bye Minimalism - new watch favourites (Mako, Eco Drive, Le Locle)

matthias on 2014/10/15

I admit it bothers me a little that I feel this big urge to buy another watch at the moment. I had bought a Casio LIW-M610D-1AER early this year for a little under 200 EUR and had hoped this would be it. See (German) forum thread and image from there (please contact me if I should take it down).

I’m very happy with this watch. It doesn’t receive a time signal in Singapore which was to be expected, but it updates well - albeit not always - in Munich and now in Boston. I also like the look and it has pretty much every function imaginable.

I believe the main reason I’m looking for yet another watch is that they’re all somewhat cheaper in the US and since I may or may not be back there soon, I’m experiencing a case of urgency. Real arguments are that I would like to have an automatic watch as well as a simpler display with less functions that is just more elegant. Not exactly the best arguments if you keep in mind that I also like a minimalism approach somehow, but what can you do?

I have been wading through internet forums again and I have found the following.

Citizen BM8240-03E Eco Drive

The BM8240-03E (Amazon links all without referral link; in other words, I’m not getting any money if you click them) is a simple solar-powered watch from Citizen for around 100-110 USD. This was my favorite for the longest time and I had almost pulled the trigger already when I realized that the leather strap was very glossy and its diameter was rather small (37mm vs 42mm of my current watch).

Update 2014-10-21: After further searching, it seems that 37mm is very common for dress watches.

 Forum thread and picture: Citizen 1 Looking at the pictures of the brown version there. I’m actually tempted again because it doesn’t appear as glossy. I could also just exchange the strap, but this fancy version by Philip Stein runs 45 USD by itself and I don’t really like the idea to be honest.

Orient Mako

I wonder why I haven’t been aware of The Orient Mako earlier. It is the only watch where the manufacturer mentions reddit in its description that I’m aware of.

The Mako could be considered Orient’s quintessential diver watch. It’s popularity is undeniable (try to count how many “Mako vs ____” threads there are on Watchuseek and Reddit), but what makes it so great, besides the price?

And they are right. The countless threads do say something about this watch. With its in-house movement, it appears to be the reference at its price point around 140 USD. At 41.5mm (without crown)x13mm it should be only slightly larger than the Casio I have and fit me quite well. I’m somewhat torn between the blue and the black version, but this is definitely a very sexy option!

Tissot Le Locle

The Tissot Le Locle is an automatic watch that I have been eying for some time and that I have even tried on. It is extremely beautiful and only slightly expensive at 450 USD. I guess what prevents me from getting it is its bigger brother, the COSC-certified version that won a recent competition as the most precise automatic watch. I also like the Arabic numerals better. At 900 USD it is really too pricey however. Its dimensions are 39.3x9mm.

Seiko SSC087

Another brand I’m interested in is Seiko and the SSC087 is the nicest piece that I have found so far. Decently sized at 43x13mm, the main gripe I have with it is that it is so similar to the Casio watch I already have. Otherwise, I have no doubt that it’d be a great choice although I’m wary because there aren’t too many forum threads. But then again, the forums are very focused on automatic watches.

Seiko SNDC33

The SNDC33 is a quartz chronograph from Seiko that unlike my current Casio doesn’t surprise with plenty of additional features. It is not solar-powered either. Nevertheless, its face is similarly complex. At 40x10mm it is reasonably small. It has been on my list for a long time and that’s why I’m listing it, but I just don’t think I will get it.